From Cod to Conservation: The Intersection of Tourism, the Cod Moratorium, and Telecommunications History in Newfoundland
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Since 1992 when the Canadian government declared a moratorium on the cod industry, Newfoundland’s major economic engine, the province has been at a crossroads, struggling to reconcile its past and present to plan for the future. The province’s planners are faced with buildings that are obsolete for their original use such as cable stations and fisheries, and have turned their attention to the development of their heritage tourism industry to encourage economic stability. This thesis explores the tourism and heritage conservation renaissance through the lens of historic sites associated with the telecommunications industry, including the Cable Station in Heart’s Content, the Cable Building in Bay Roberts, and Cabot Tower at Signal Hill in St. John’s. Although the cod moratorium had grave effects on the economy and welfare of Newfoundlanders, this thesis demonstrates that it served as an impetus for historic preservation. This work combines historical research and primary source analysis with interviews and firsthand documentation to provide a tourism narrative for Newfoundland. It also serves to document historic telecommunications sites and their role in provincial tourism and the moratorium. The first two chapters describe the context for the study with regard to history and legislation, respectively. The third chapter illustrates the evolution of tourism over time in Newfoundland, while the final three chapters present the specific case studies.